Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Gautam Gambhir donated Rs 4 lakh to help the cash-strapped Indian ice hockey team in their quest for participation in the 2015 Challenge Cup of Asia in Kuwait.
The ice hockey team is faced with a financial crisis going into the tournament and has resorted to crowd funding in a bid to collect money for participation in the tournament.
Gambhir said he heard of the team's plight on radio and decided to donate the amount through his charitable trust - Gautam Gambhir Foundation (GGF).
"I felt it is a moral responsibility to support the game of ice hockey, it is a disgrace that in a country like India where sports have so much support these games are neglected. As a sportsman I believe I should always support smaller games," Gambhir told reporters at the event where he gave away the cheque to the Indian team.
The ice hockey team's captain, Ladakh-born Tsewang Gyaltson, said he was overwhelmed by the support and hopes to do well in the coming championship.
"First time we have had so much support, good to know a game like ice hockey is being recognised. We are practicing really hard and are hopeful of doing well in the Challenge Cup," said Gyaltson.
Talking about the hurdles he had to face while taking up ice hockey as a career, the 23-year-old said: "They tried to stop me from playing the game. They said there is no future and told me to concentrate on my studies, but I was adamant and I continued playing the game I loved."